The INFJ personality type is the rarest, comprising only one-and-a-half percent of the population. INFJs may never meet another person like themselves in their lifetime, and as intuitives, they’re numbered among the outliers since sensors make up 70 percent of the population.
In America, the preferred personality type is the ESTJ – the polar opposite of the INFJ. With the INFJ personality type being so rare and the culture at large favoring your opposite, it can be easy to feel left out, broken, misunderstood, and unappreciated. Complicating matters, INFJs possess a powerful desire to make a difference with their lives, fulfill their potential, do meaningful work, and live a life congruent with their high personal standards. INFJs put a great deal of pressure on themselves and expect that the ideal futures they vividly envision will become reality, but most people have a hard time understanding this desire.
For these reasons and more, it’s vital that people with the INFJ personality type understand themselves. They need to grasp who they are, understand their strengths, gain an appreciation of what makes them different from other types, and realize that they are normal – just different. When an INFJ learns these things, he or she can be more confident and plan a better, more productive path into the future.
Do you ever find yourself fixating on an idea, theory, problem, or thought? Do you struggle to get what you’re thinking about out of your head?
For a week or so, I’ve been getting headaches because my computer monitors are too low. My wife pointed this out and recommended that I get monitor risers for them. She made this observation last week, but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head today.
“My dad could help you build some,” she suggested. While I liked that solution at first, I know it’ll probably take a few weeks to execute. I want to check this problem off of my to-do list stat. And so I keep researching and thinking about solutions. Meanwhile, I’m putting off other responsibilities.
Can you relate? This dilemma confronts me on regular basis. If it’s not a piece of tech gear, it’s a question, theory, or idea that the curious, creative side of me has to pursue.
Whether you get caught up in thinking about computer monitor risers or theories and ideas, know that you’re in good company. Most INFJs “get stuck” fixating from time to time.
So Why does this happen? And What can you do about it? I offer you the following explanation and a few practical solutions.
Do you ever tell people what they want to hear to keep the peace, even though you don’t completely agree with what you’re saying?
I’m cringing as I write, but I’m 100% guilty of this. If I’m working with a teaching colleague, for instance, and he asks me my opinion of an instructional strategy or lesson plan framework we’re putting together, I’ll often tell him I like the approach we’re taking even when I don’t.
I do this mostly when I know the approach is…
Something he thought up
Something he believes in strongly
The strategy doesn’t violate my beliefs or values
I compromise thinking it will benefit our partnership, but I wish I were more forthright. It’s just that I absolutely hate interpersonal conflict.
My wife’s been calling me on the carpet recently. She tells me it’s a significant issue that won’t go away unless I do something about it. While I know she’s right, I’m so used to withdrawing, playing along, or working by myself to avoid a spat I don’t want to think about change.
Can you relate?
Is there ever a good reason why you and I should risk conflict? Are the possible gains worth the potential interpersonal turmoil and hurt?
Check out these 5 reasons you should consider “rocking the boat” more often.
What’s the secret to making this year your best ever?
In his book Next Generation Leader, Andy Stanley outlines 5 things that accelerate people’s personal growth (whether they’re leaders or not):
Of the 5 things, the one that stood out to me most was coaching.
Stanley says, “You will never maximize your potential in any area without coaching. It is impossible.” Those are strong words, but they line up with my experience.
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Over the past 3 to 4 years, I’ve had 2 people pouring into me that have made a tremendous difference in my life. One of them I met through my church. The other I paid to coach me.
What’s true about both of them is that they’ve saved me HOURS! I don’t waste nearly as much time trying to figure out what to do or where to go because I have trusted guides to turn to. They’ve been where I want to go, and they show me the way. Their guidance has made all the difference for me.
I never thought I’d…
Start a blog
Launch a podcast
Write an eBook
Create a course
But they helped me do it. Fast.
Your goals may be different than mine, but I know you’ve got dreams. Start by believing you can make them a reality. Then, find a mentor.
If you’re not sure where to look, check out these 4 proven strategies that’ll connect you with the right guides!
Have you ever been working on something and getting to the point of optimal focus and productivity only to be unexpectedly interrupted by someone or something? Your focus shatters and falls to the ground like shards of glass, while you’re left feeling angry, frustrated, anxious, and a whole slew of other negative feelings.
It’s especially tough for us INFJs because we require quiet to do our best work and to employ our greatest strength, introverted intuition. In The INFJ: Understanding the Mystic, Susan Storm writes:
“When using Introverted Intuition, INFJs enter a nearly meditative state, where they consider how various insights could lead to a future outcome. Noise, bright lights, and any type of interruption can all unsettle the INFJ and make them lose focus and composure.”
Once you’ve been interrupted, it often takes 20 to 30 minutes to get back to a state of flow, assuming you’re able to quickly fight off the emotions. Then, you’ll need to do the work of remembering and piecing together what you were working on before.
The good news is that you can make some minor tweaks that’ll make a big difference for you. Try any one of these 4 strategies, and it’ll almost instantly lead to more quiet, fewer interruptions, and increased happiness for your INFJ brain.
I’ve gotten this question a lot lately, and it’s a good one. At first, it can be hard to tell the two apart because they do seem to share a lot in common. For a long time, before I got a better understanding of the Myers-Briggs personality system, I thought that I was an INFP. If you’re struggling to tell the difference like I was, there are some clear ways to tell the two personalities apart.
How important is it for an INFJ to make time to create?
Several years ago when I was taking classes for my master’s degree, teaching, and coaching volleyball all at one time, I was getting sick 3 to 4 times per year. I lived on antibiotics. And up until recently, I chocked my poor health up to working with kids, living in an older house, and not getting enough rest.
But recently, I read a book that said INFJs who don’t have a creative outlet will get stifled, frustrated, and sick. In short, their inner distress will manifest itself in physical illness.
Looking back, I realize that one of the biggest issues for me, aside from having to manage too many details, was that I didn’t make time to create. Certainly, other factors contributed to my poor health, but I’m convinced lack of creativity was a big part of the problem. Ever since I started spending time each day songwriting, writing blog posts, recording podcasts, making videos, etc., I haven’t felt nearly as sick or discouraged.
Have you wrestled with chronic illness, regular sickness, or discouragement? A big part of it might just be because you’re not creating enough.
When I was single, I got tired of waiting for the love of my life to show up on my doorstep. Looking back, I guess I’d expected to bump into her. I didn’t anticipate any effort on my part, at least when it came to searching.
But then I read a Proverb that changed my perspective: “He who finds a wife finds what is good.” The word that hit me in that statement was “find.” I realized could find a wife like finding a penny on the sidewalk, without any effort. Or I could find her like finding my lost iPhone when I’m intentionally looking for it.
Armed with this new perspective and motivated by a healthy discontentment, I took the first step I could think of.